Ocasio-Cortez: $10 trillion needed for effective climate plan

Ocasio-Cortez: $10 trillion needed for effective climate plan
© Greg Nash

Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezSanders 'very concerned about what appears to be a coup' in Bolivia Trump celebrates resignation of Bolivia's president Sanders touts big crowds in Iowa rallies with Ocasio-Cortez MORE (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that any plan to sufficiently address the climate crisis will need to cost at least $10 trillion.

“I think we really need to get to $10 trillion to have a shot,” the progressive firebrand said in response to a question from The Hill in the Capitol.

“I know it’s a ton," she added. "I don’t think anyone wants to spend that amount of money, it’s not a fun number to say, I’m not excited to say we need to spend $10 trillion on climate, but ... it’s just the fact of the scenario.”

Ocasio-Cortez, who helped popularize a set of principles known as the Green New Deal, said that of all the climate plans from the Democratic presidential candidates, she was most supportive of proposals from Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeO'Rourke ends presidential bid Sunrise Movement organizer: Sanders, Warren boast strongest climate change plans Overnight Energy: Farmers say EPA reneged on ethanol deal | EPA scrubs senators' quotes from controversial ethanol announcement | Perry unsure if he'll comply with subpoena | John Kerry criticizes lack of climate talk at debate MORE (Wash.), which surpassed $5 trillion, and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBiden: 'I'm more of a Democrat from my shoe sole to my ears' than anyone else running Press: Another billionaire need not apply Saagar Enjeti dismisses Warren, Klobuchar claims of sexism MORE (Mass.), which included a $2 trillion green manufacturing element.

She said she was also encouraged that 2020 Democratic front-runner Joe BidenJoe BidenFive landmark moments of testimony to Congress Democrats sharpen their message on impeachment Biden: 'I'm more of a Democrat from my shoe sole to my ears' than anyone else running MORE had put out a $5 trillion climate plan, though she criticized the former vice president's proposal for having less-ambitious goals and timelines than others.

All the plans in question could go further, however, she added.

“I think the entire field of climate plans still needs to be pushed,” she said. “I think it just needs to be pushed in terms of the scientific scale, that is scientifically supported in what we need to solve this problem.”

Ocasio-Cortez, whose backing would be a prize for 2020 Democrats seeking the progressive vote, acknowledged that her climate plan price tag would be derided as unrealistic, but argued that it was in line with the scale of the threat.

“It’s not popular, it’s not politically popular. People are going to call it unrealistic, and I just don’t think people understand how bad the problem is,” she said.